HPP-C&I Breakfast ‘Is wood the answer?’



During this HPP Construction & Industry breakfast meeting we listened to 3 interesting speakers who have a lot of experience with building with wood:

  • Erik van Haasteren | Ursem Modular Construction
  • Gerard Comello | Lingotto
  • Ard-Jan Lootens | Solid Timber

CLT was introduced in 2000. CLT is form-retaining, which allows you to build very precisely and quickly. In Europe there is 1.5 million m3 of CLT production per year.

The stories show that there are many possibilities with wood, but that there is still too little demand.

From 100 trees you can build 1 house with CLT. Looking at the Dutch production, the annual harvest volume of softwood is 200,000 m3. That is enough to build 2,500 homes per year in wood.

Solid Timber shows beautiful images of their Floating Office projects for the UN in Rotterdam. And also from Kulturhaus in Sweden. Wonderful examples of completely wooden buildings.

What about the price / quality ratio of wood compared to traditional? It depends on location and design, among other things. If you design from the start from wood, building with wood can be cheaper. If a different material has been chosen and wood is subsequently calculated, it is usually 5 to 10% more expensive.

Ursem Modular has an annual capacity of 2,000 homes. They build 40% faster than on-site building. Hotel Jakarta is a well-known Ursem project with wooden modules. Although this is a hybrid building, wood combined with concrete floors.

The development of the next hotel, Hotel Chicago, will start soon. This hotel consists of 200 rooms and 210 modules. Client Westcord Hotel has the ambition to realize a completely wooden hotel. Completion is planned for 2022.

Lingotto is developing Haut, a wooden building of 73 meters high in a beautiful location along the Amstel. Due to the shape of the building and Lingotto’s ambition to develop a wooden building, many new explorations had to be made. But additional strength calculations have also been made to gain experience with wood.

The conclusion of the morning was that wood is at the start of an innovation era. The arrival of wood triggers more innovations in concrete, for example. If we are going to build in series with wood, further CO2 reduction can progress.